BMW Motorrad presented the autonomous BMW R 1200 GS. Outlook on safety and the technical future of the motorbike in Miramas.

MOBILITY/MOTORBIKES: Riding as if by magic.

On the occasion of the BMW Motorrad Techday 2018, the first autonomously driving motorbike was presented by BMW Motorrad. At the BMW Group test site in Miramas in the south of France, a BMW R 1200 GS did its first laps in front of the assembled journalists as if controlled by magic. The vehicle, developed by graduate engineer Stefan Hans and his team, starts up automatically, accelerates, circles a winding test track and also brakes again automatically to a standstill.
With this pioneering development, BMW Motorrad, as a pacesetter in the field of technical innovations related to motorcycling, is by no means aiming for the completely autonomous motorbike. Rather, the technology behind it is intended to serve as a platform for the development of future systems and functions to make motorcycling even safer and more comfortable, and thus also to significantly increase riding pleasure. The aim of the development of this prototype is to gather knowledge about driving dynamics in order to be able to detect dangerous situations at an early stage in the future and thus support the driver with appropriate safety systems, for example at junctions, when turning or when braking quickly.

In addition to this impressive outlook on an even higher level of riding pleasure and safety when riding a motorbike in the future, BMW Motorrad also presented other exciting technology projects. Bright motorbike headlights ranging from cornering lights to laser headlights were on display, as well as a motorbike frame and rear swing arm that is 100 percent 3D printed. As with the development of the autonomous motorbike, BMW Motorrad once again made use of the synergies with BMW Automobiles, where this additive manufacturing process has already found its way into series production in various vehicles. The key advantage of 3D printing is the complete freedom to design components that could not be produced in this way by other means.
BMW Motorrad also gave another example of technical competence and excellence in the field of innovative manufacturing processes with motorbike chassis components such as the frame, swingarm and wheels made of the lightweight yet high-strength material carbon, as already used in industrial production on the BMW HP4 RACE. With the aim of maximum innovative strength and the highest possible quality, there is also close cooperation in this area between BMW Motorrad and BMW Automobile, where this material has already been used in series production for some time.
Finally, in Miramas, BMW Motorrad provided an outlook on the significance of the rapidly advancing digitalisation on motorcycling in the future. Here, BMW Motorrad faces the challenge of taking into account the two-wheeler needs in the traffic world of tomorrow and being able to provide technical support. Above all, the V2V communication between vehicles and thus an increase in safety and comfort for the motorcyclist through digital networking are in the foreground. Here, too, BMW Motorrad benefits from the close cooperation with BMW Automobile.


virtualdesignmagazine Michael Hiller



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